The Dayton residency double standard

The new Dayton Art Institute director can’t have his job because he wants to live in Cincinnati. However, the head of the Downtown Dayton Partnership can live in Clayton?

Our View: DAI director-to-be missed big picture
The Dayton Art Institute announced this week that David Brigham won’t be taking over the museum after all. He wanted to live in the Cincinnati area, to which Mr. Brigham’s bosses said no can do.

Getting fired before you even officially get started takes some doing. Explaining that on a resume is definitely going to take more than one line.

But the DAI isn’t looking good either. Who didn’t have the conversation with Mr. Brigham that being part of the community meant actually living here? Maybe the next time out, the trustees and the search committee should draw a circle around Dayton on a map and explain that, though the lines are blurring between here and Cincinnati, there’s still a demarcation for people in important community posts.

Outspoken former city employee Victor Pate is fired for legally moving to Jefferson Township after the State outlawed residency rules- yet, firefighters who have done the same are still on the job.

I live in Dayton because I think it’s great. I wonder how many of the DDN editorial board live in the City? At some point, we need to stop evaluating people by where they choose to live- and focus on if they can do the job?

What do you think?

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22 Comments on "The Dayton residency double standard"

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What do I think? I think we need to stop evaluating people by where they choose to live and focus on if they can do the job too. But there is an interesting contrast to your old campaign literature. In your “top 10” reasons to vote for you, #8 was “He didn’t live in Oakwood for 25 years” ( I’d be interested to know if your opinions have changed since that time.

David Esrati
David Esrati

Hi Michael- touche- but, MSK moved to Oakwood to avoid Dayton Public Schools- and then came out for a special election to try to ride on her husbands name.
That isn’t the kind of candidate we needed then- or now.


Are we talking Dayton or Greater Dayton? People in such positions should consider a move to the actual Dayton part, but at the end of the day doing a good job is by far the most important issue.

What is wrong with wanting to move to Oakwood for better schools? Dayton schools are a joke, the kids are rude and undisciplined (ask any active Dayton teacher), learning is secondary to keeping peace in the class. I really would not encourage people to send their kids to DPS if they have a viable alternative. It just come down to simple odds, like at the casino, where I want to increase my chances to win. I’ll play blackjack, you play roulette.

Bill Pote

IMHO – city-specific residency requirements should apply to any elected official in that city. Other community leaders such as head of DDP, DAI, etc. should be required to live within a certain radius of the city (ie “region”), but not necessarily in the city – because as Michael said – the focus should be on if they can do the job. Strict residency requirements would do nothing more than reduce the number of qualified candidates for a leadership position.

Either way, any requirement should be spelled out in the employment contract. If this was not the case with the DAI fiasco, then shame on the DAI board. Without a residency requirement included in an employment contract, you can’t blame those people for living elsewhere in the region.

As for Mr. Brigham, even if a regional-residency requirement was not spelled out, he still should have understood that serving as DAI director (a community leader position) while living in Cinci would not fly. I do find it interesting that it was reported that the headhunting agency would continue the search at no additional cost – does that mean they played a part in dropping the ball here? Something tells me that the public is not getting the whole story because legal action in this case might be pending.


I just saw a job listing for a position at the Dayton International Airport. Sounded great, until the last line about the residency rule. It’s one thing if the position is actually in the city limits…the AIRPORT is in VANDALIA! That’s forcing someone to have a lengthy commute and live no where near their workplace. Just a very stupid policy. To cut your applicant pool for positions so drastically most likely results in sub-par employees anyway.


Now again, they want you to live WHERE? Dayton I suppose. Why? Was this a government job? Or then again, are they just trying to give jobs to those who already live in Dayton, and eliminating the suburban junkies before the word GO.


A City of Dayton job working out of Vandalia. Still forced to live in Dayton. I love Dayton, even though I don’t live there. I would consider it but I have young kids…schools…enough said.


The airport is owned and operated by the city of Dayton, so Dayton’s residency policy applies to airport employees (those working for the city, not the airlines, etc.), like it or not. And, by the way, the airport is within the Dayton city limits (see any official county map), not Vandalia.

As for the DAI thing, yes, someone dropped the ball there. Maybe more than one someone.


And…furthermore…last time I checked, Clayton was still in Montgomery County. So there’s no double standard going on.

Drexel Dave

I think cops should be required live in the neighborhoods they police. This would help out with crime a big bunch. Nothing can replaced with being networked with the flesh and blood street residents of the city.


DD is right about the cops – Many parts of E Dayton are safer b/c the ratio of cops is high. West, NW, and North Dayton seem to have more crime and less cops among them. Other employees, however, should be exempt.


Good grief, Drexel Dave. Should the cops who are assigned to the West Side have to live amongst the crack houses over which they have little to no control? Should the cop never have any time off duty, if he is constantly policing his own neighborhood? And what about danger to his or her family?


As far as the residency rule….I’m a city employee for 29 years and I have to live in the City…I don’t like it at times but I couldn’t afford to move out to Quail Hollow or Brtinney Estates off Kitridge where police and fire personnel live because I chose to send my kids to a Catholic School. The City is worried about Urban Flight if the residency rule is abolished and there will have all these vacant houses. They don’t realize that we have to sell our house to be able to afford to move.


People think it’s so expensive in the Quail Hollow ‘hood but it’s not. When we got tired of paying for a Christian school and even more tired of the trouble we had from the low income housing project down the street, we decided to sell our home off North Smithville and move to “Copland.” Considering the proceeds from the sale of our house that we could plunk down on an older home in Willow Glen, and considering the savings of the monies we were spending to send our daughter to Christian school, our house payment is literally LESS than it was before. We’re in a great house in a great neighborhood (police officers, fire fighters, housing inspectors, other city workers and WPAFB employees, etc.) where people truly look out for each other. In the seven years we’ve lived there, there has been virtually NO crime.

Our daughter, of course, attends Huber Heights schools. The Catholic school might very well be worth the money, but I think that generally speaking, our kids will get out of school what they put into it. Our daughter takes a full load of honors classes and is taking classes at Sinclair, too. It couldn’t have worked out better for us. It’s just a matter of where you’d rather put those few hundred extra dollars each month — towards your private school tuition or the payment for your new home.


Hey Donna; Lets see what the saleries are of some of your City employees that leave in the Quail Hollow “hood”
Police- top out at $75,000.00
Fire – top out in the 60’s
Housing Inspectors-(second highest paid blue collor position in the city, top out at $53,383.80
Compare that to a Waste Collecter – top pay $40,996.80 or a water meter reader $41,787.80. Let’s see…almost a $30,000.00 difference. now tell me a trash guy can live with ya’all.

Later I’ll tell you how the city is playing out with the Blue Collor Employees health insurance.

Bye Bye…….break time over!!!!!!!!


Hey, Mike!

I didn’t intend to get into a paycheck pissing contest. My only point was that if you take the money you’re paying for your kid(s) to attend private school and add it to your existing house payment, you might find that Quail Hollow housing is within your reach. It worked for us. And no…police officers don’t make nearly 75K a year, but then again, I work, too.


Sorry Donna for not responding sooner but I’ve been busy, First of all, the employees who do send there kids to a private school do so because of the academic situation of the public schools and charter schools. Dayton public school students are at least one to two grade levels behind their pravate school counter parts, and even the lower paygrades within the city blue collors workers can’t afford to send their kids to a private school. And yes it is about the paycheck. Your housing inspector you said lives up in Vatican Hill with you is in the second highest paid grade at paid grade 124 who tops out at $53,383.80 ( source: DPSU Contract Book). I my myself am in paid grade 118 and yes I make a pretty good wage but then you have a waste collector which is pay grade 113 and a meter reader is pay grade 114. They’re having a rough time just making it. An lastly is your police friend a rockie or just not up to his highest pay level yet?. Also you police friend just got a 3% raise on his contract. Blue collor is still working with a no raise contract. I gots to get back to work my 15 minute break is up. Hope to here from you soon………bye!!!


Man, I must have mad all you mad… one has responded to my last comment



You didn’t make me mad…just as frustrated as a nursing baby at a topless bar. ; )

You said, “I don’t like it at times but I couldn’t afford to move out to Quail Hollow…because I chose to send my kids to a Catholic School.”

I didn’t say that EVERYBODY who works for the city can afford to move to Quail Hollow. There are people who work for the city who can’t afford a house on East Fifth Street, just as there are city workers who own their own homes and ten others. As far as Dayton City schools, I’d live in a cardboard box before I’d send my kid there.

We had lived in our house in East Dayton for twenty years. By chance, we ran across an older home in Willow Glen (the cousin to Forest Ridge)for $110K. We sold the old home and made a 40K profit that we used as a down payment on the new home. A 70K mortgage with a low interest rate, significantly lower utility bills and no private school tuition made our monthly expenditures LESS than they were in East Dayton.

My only point is that it may LOOK like this neighborhood is beyond the reach of other frustrated Daytonians but it may not be.



Sorry for not replying sooner, but the City is forcing us Blue Collar employees into a health plan that our great police department offered for the city’s consideration during their nogotiations. It’s a Health savings Plan. Of course only the police and fire departments can reaaly afford this High Deductable Plan… but what the hell it’s only money right!! Anyway you point is well takin and you’re right about kids only get out what they put into their education and sometimes an upgrade to a better home in a nice platt where the crime rate is low ( at least I hope it is out there) is better then acutal living in the city. I don’t envey you because like I said I only have about 56 more Mondays I have to work in this pit. Then I can retire to my little place up at St Marys lake. Got to run break time is over again. BYE!!!!!!!!!!

Cant say

~just want to say, I agree with the fact that the schools suck. However, not all of the charter schools suck (just most of them.) I teach in a charter school. My hubby works for the city. That sucks too. Mike you rock. Betcha know my hubby. Sounds like you’d be pals.


Hey Mike,
I find it interesting that you will blame other unions for your health insurance. Don’t you belong to a union? You quoted a payscale from a union contract. Did your union vote for the health insurance? Or do you not belong to a union and just get whatever you are given?